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  • Frosty morn

    Nov 2, 2023

    Frost-covered trees brings a touch of beauty to a cold and foggy day on East Main Street Friday morning, after the first snow of the season....

  • Pick up your pumpkins, says Game & Fish

    Nov 2, 2023

    Wyoming Game and Fish is asking residents to properly dispose of pumpkins instead of leaving them out for wildlife to eat. While it may seem harmless to leave pumpkins out, it is quite the opposite, especially for mule deer whose digestive system cannot process unnatural foods. This often leads to sick animals. Additionally, pumpkins left outside can attract scavenging animals, from raccoons to bears. “This time of year we get many calls about sickly deer fawns and much of this can be attributed to these deer eating foods that offer little nutr...

  • Game & Fish reports local wildlife violation totals

    Sarah Pridgeon|Oct 26, 2023

    Wyoming Game & Fish (WGF) has released its law enforcement statistics for the year of 2022, showing that both the regions that encapsulate Crook County saw a modest decrease in violations. Sundance forms part of the Casper region, while Moorcroft, Pine Haven and Hulett sit in the Sheridan region. Within the Casper region, WGF has seven district game wardens, one access coordinator, a regional game warden and a regional wildlife supervisor. In 2022, law enforcement documented 522 violations in this region, which was a decrease of 20% from the...

  • Members sought for Black Hills National Forest Advisory Board

    Oct 26, 2023

    The Black Hills National Forest is seeking nominations for positions on the Black Hills National Forest Advisory Board which was established in 2003 for the purpose of providing advice and recommendations on a broad range of forest issues such as forest plan revisions or management, forest monitoring and evaluation, recreation fees, and site-specific projects having forest-wide implications. The nomination period closes December 1, 2023. The committee is comprised of 16 members who represent the following categories of interests: 1. Economic...

  • Fall gathering

    Oct 19, 2023

    A crew of young and old trail a herd of cows and calves headed for the sorting pens south of Sundance early Tuesday morning on the Kara Creek Ranch....

  • Game & Fish sends out hunter surveys

    Oct 19, 2023

    Hunters will begin receiving surveys through the mail or online this week from the Wyoming Game & Fish Department. The intent is to gather feedback on this year’s hunting season to inform wildlife managers when making future decisions. Licensed hunters are selected by random sampling for antelope, deer and elk, but nearly everyone who holds a license for moose, bighorn sheep, mountain goat, black bear, mountain lion, gray wolf, turkey, furbearer, sandhill crane, small game, upland game, migratory game bird, light goose conservation order or s...

  • Veto override fails on bat endangered species listing

    Sarah Pridgeon|Oct 5, 2023

    U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis and all members of the Senate Western Caucus on which she serves as chairman, as well as U.S. Senator John Barrasso, voted to override President Joe Biden’s veto of the resolution that questioned the listing of the northern long-eared bat as an endangered species. In total, 47 senators voted for and 45 against, failing to meet the two-thirds majority required to overturn the veto. “The Biden administration’s heavy-handed interpretations and ongoing abuse of the ESA continues to punish private property owners rathe...

  • Forest Service collecting traffic survey data

    Oct 5, 2023

    Individuals wearing orange vests will be out and about in the Black Hills National Forest over the next year collecting input on traffic within the forest. Contract employees will be stationed in developed and dispersed recreation sites and along forest service roads and will be out in all types of weather conditions near signs that say “Traffic Survey Ahead.” The National Visitor Use Monitoring (NVUM) survey began on October 1 and will go through September 30, 2024. The information gathered is useful for forest planning as well as local com...

  • Regulation changes will affect youth hunters

    Sarah Pridgeon|Sep 28, 2023

    Wyoming Game & Fish is reminding hunters of a regulation change this season that affects youth deer license-holders. Due to low populations, a full-price, youth deer license does not permit the harvest of mule deer does or fawns during an antlered deer season. This year, youth hunters possessing a full-price, youth deer license may take an antlered mule deer or any white-tailed deer (including does and fawns) during an antlered deer season in accordance with the species limitation of their license in the hunt area(s) where their license is vali...

  • Boating season winds down, but inspections still needed

    Sarah Pridgeon|Sep 28, 2023

    As the nights draw in and the weather gets colder, boating season is winding down in Wyoming – and so are the check stations that protect local water bodies from invasive aquatic species. Check stations will begin to close or reduce their hours this month, but the Wyoming Game & Fish Department still requires that any watercraft transported into Wyoming until November 30 undergo a mandatory inspection by an authorized inspector. “Boaters who need to get their watercraft inspected between now and the end of November can stop by a Game and Fis...

  • Initiative to bring more hunting, fishing, conservation opportunities to schools

    Sep 28, 2023

    Wyoming Game and Fish Director Brian Nesvik, Superintendent of Public Instruction Megan Degenfelder and Governor Mark Gordon joined forces last week to announce a collaborative initiative to expand conservation education opportunities for Wyoming’s youth under Game and Fish’s Inspire a Kid campaign. “Wyoming’s conservation heritage is a through-line that goes back generations,” Governor Gordon said. “Ensuring students have opportunities to experience hands-on learning and gain crucial outdoor skills and knowledge should be part of our commitm...

  • Sign o' the times

    Sep 14, 2023

    The first signs of fall are beginning to appear around the area. Up on Warren Peak early this week, yellowing leaves are now dotted throughout the canopy....

  • Hunting season promises mixed results

    Sarah Pridgeon|Sep 7, 2023

    Hunting seasons this fall may be negatively affected by poor deer numbers, according to Sundance Game Warden Nate Holst, but elk and turkeys are doing just fine and should make for plentiful harvest opportunities. Deer The deer population in this county was hit by an outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) a couple of years ago, which affected both white-tailed deer and pronghorn antelope. Cases were identified across the east of the state, including in Crook County, in 2021. EHD is not...

  • County lays out stance on BLM plan

    Sarah Pridgeon|Aug 31, 2023

    The Crook County Commission has submitted comments on the Bureau of Land Management’s plans to revise its resource management plan (RMP) for northeast Wyoming. Pointing out that the county needs its natural resources to survive economically, the commission’s letter urges the federal agency to be mindful of the priorities laid out in the Crook County Natural Resource Management Plan (NRMP), which was adopted at the end of 2020. “Crook County’s economic viability is highly dependent on the availability and utilization of natural resourc...

  • County to be focus area for CWD

    Sarah Pridgeon|Aug 31, 2023

    Crook County is one of the focus areas for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) testing this year and hunters are asked for their help to collect lymph node samples. "Game and Fish is requesting samples from herds we've not addressed in a while, where we are trying to get a significant sample size so we can accurately determine what the CWD prevalence is in these herds," says Jessica Jennings-Gaines, Game and Fish Wildlife Health Laboratory supervisor. Deer hunt areas 1 through 6, all located in this...

  • Comment period begins for Spruce Vegetation Management Project

    Aug 31, 2023

    The Black Hills National Forest is announcing the availability of the Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Spruce Vegetation Management Project and is seeking public comment on the proposed project. The project is located on National Forest System lands south of Spearfish Canyon, east of the Wyoming/South Dakota border, north of the Crazy Horse Memorial and west of Interstate 90. The project includes management activities on approximately 3614 acres in mixed conifer stands. The modified proposed action includes approximately 493 acres...

  • Don't forget mosquito protection to prevent West Nile virus

    Aug 17, 2023

    With human cases in nearby states and a higher-than-usual number of mosquito pools within Wyoming testing positive for West Nile virus, the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) wants people to remember to protect themselves from mosquito bites. “Wyoming’s reported human West Nile virus case numbers have been quite low the past several years,” Courtney Tillman, epidemiologist with WDH, said. “But with more positive mosquito pools being reported this summer than we have seen in nearly 10 years and cases popping up in neighbor states, a reminde...

  • Partial burn ban now in effect

    Sarah Pridgeon|Aug 3, 2023

    A partial burn ban went into effect across the county on August 1, imposing caution on county residents as the summer weather finally settles in and the danger of wildfire increases. With the risk of fire set to increase as the rains clear up and the land dries out, creating a heavy fuel load and dry summer conditions the restrictions were approved by the county commissioners on Tuesday and aim to offset situations that could over-extend the county’s firefighting capabilities. The county will be imposing open burn restrictions that prohibit the...

  • Keyhole State Park to host Lanternfest

    Aug 3, 2023

    Keyhole State Park will host Lanternfest Saturday, August 5. This family-friendly event will provide opportunities for kayaking and paddleboarding as well as glow painting and other outdoor activities and games, which are all free with the price of park admission. The event begins at 10 a.m. at Keyhole’s beach area south of the marina in which people are invited to help clean up the beach. From 5-8 p.m., activities will be held at the boat launch within Keyhole’s Tatanka Campground and will include kayaking and paddle boarding, glow pai...

  • BLM scoping period begins

    Sarah Pridgeon|Jul 27, 2023

    Do you graze livestock on federal land? Do you like to camp off the grid in areas that belong to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)? Do you live near a chunk of BLM land that you would like to stay just how it is – or, alternatively, do you think better use could be made of it? As the BLM ramps up the scoping period for revising its land management plan, Jeanne Whalen, consulting for the Crook County Commissioners, urges anyone who is currently impacted by BLM land in any way to consider making a comment. “They want to hear from the peo...

  • Stay safe in the summer sun

    Sarah Pridgeon|Jul 27, 2023

    Summer took its time arriving this year but, once it did get here, the temperatures soared seemingly overnight. While the forecast still shows a few potential storms on the horizon, the hot weather appears to be sticking around for now. With that in mind, and with a “heat dome” covering part of the nation recently and heatwaves across the world, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued guidance on how to spot heat-related illness and how to prevent them from occurring. More than 700 people die from extreme heat each year in the United S...

  • Public comments sought for Shotgun Project on the Bearlodge Ranger District

    Jul 20, 2023

    The Black Hills National Forest is proposing to conduct timber harvest and thinning operations on approximately 1400 acres, in the Shotgun project area on National Forest lands in the Bear Lodge Mountains and northwestern Black Hills of Wyoming. Proposed timber harvest areas are ponderosa pine forest, consisting of scattered mature trees and many seedlings and saplings. The project area consists of three divisions: Blacktail, Lehner and Wapiti, spread across the district. The sequence of treatments in this system includes 1) an optional...

  • Celebrate National Forest Week

    Jul 13, 2023

    Celebrate National Forest Week (NFW), July 10 – 16, 2023 on the Black Hills National Forest. NFW highlights the incredible 193-million-acre National Forest System across the country and all the benefits it provides to the public. Several free Forest events, including a guided hike, a forest photography workshop, educational programs at the Pactola Visitor Center and a campground sing-along will be taking place next week to showcase some of the amazing outdoor opportunities that can be found within the Black Hills National Forest. Upcoming P...

  • Bat Festival coming to Devils Tower

    Jul 13, 2023

    On Sat., July 22, the National Park Service and Devils Tower Natural History Association will host the Annual Bat Festival in the picnic area of the monument from 12 to 10 p.m. This festival will include presentations and fun educational activities all about the amazing nighttime resident of Devils Tower/Bear Lodge – The Bat! There will be an interactive inflatable cave, movie screenings, demonstrations on building bat roosts, information booths, costume contests, crafts, games, activities for kids and special guest presenters. There will a...

  • BLM enters scoping period for land use plans

    Jul 13, 2023

    The Bureau of Land Management on Tuesday opened a 45-day public scoping period to gather comments to inform an environmental impact statement for planned revisions to the resource management plans for the Newcastle Field Office and Nebraska planning area. The proposed revision would replace the existing 23-year-old Newcastle RMP that guides the management of approximately 287,900 acres of public lands and 1.7 million acres of federal mineral estate managed by the BLM in Crook, Weston and Niobrara counties in Wyoming. Through this process, BLM...

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